A Lila Review: Conned By Jana Denardo

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

Detective Roy Connolly never expected to find real elves and murder at his local anime convention.

Seeking a bonding experience with his formerly estranged son, Sion, a crown prince of the elves, takes him to something they both enjoy: a human anime convention. They both like humans and all their geeky creations so Sion anticipates an enjoyable weekend. He never expected an enemy assassin, armed with only a description of Sion’s cosplay, to start murdering his way through the convention.

Detective Roy Connolly, a closet geek, heads to the same anime con without his friend, Amelia. He’s surprised to find one of the most handsome men he’s ever seen cosplaying in the same anime style as his own, and even more delighted that Sion can’t keep his hands off him. Throwing caution to the wind, Roy jumps into a whirlwind relationship only to find himself in the cross hairs of an assassin.

 

Conned is a short, quirky read about a geeky police detective and an elven prince. The story goes directly into the action as we meet the characters, get the basics about them and move into the moment they meet for the first time.

 

All the events happened quickly and the MCs formed an easy connection that gives us the direction of their HFN. When I first read the blurb, I expected Sion’s son to be a child and not an adult. This added to an extra layer to the story, and how they work together shows Sion’s depths.

 

The plot, the situations, and fast romance suits the short story but aren’t enough to carry a full story. There’s a lot more to learn about the worlds, their present, and the possibilities of a future. Overall, this is a perfect story to read for a short, enjoyable distraction.

 

The cover by Melody Pond is beautiful and matches the world-built and Sion’s description.

 

Sale Links: MLRAmazon | Nook

 

ebook, 47 pages
Published: July 6, 2017, by MLR Press
ISBN: 9781370776726
Edition Language: English

A Lila Release Day Review: A Taste of Honey by Ari McKay

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Boone Phillips needs a girlfriend—now! If he shows up to the family reunion alone, his mother will throw every woman in sight at him. But the only “woman” Boone trusts enough to ask is Honey, the drag queen alter ego of his best friend, Rob. It’s a crazy idea, but Boone is desperate.

Boone wins Rob over to the idea after first going on a “date” with him as Honey, but everything feels different once the plan is set in motion. Between nosy relatives, illegal moonshine, and the sight of Rob in white lace panties, Boone starts to wonder if he’s as straight as he thought. When an earth-shattering kiss sends Rob running, however, Boone learns some surprising things about both his family and himself. Now he needs to convince Rob to give him another chance, or his first taste of Honey might also be his last.

A Taste of Honey is a charming, southern, friends-to-lovers story.  It can almost be read as two couples—Rob and Boone & Honey and Boone—with the exception of the beginning and the end where the transition between them morphs into one. And that’s the main plot in the story.

There are several tropes the author used well to bring the characters together and to give them a sense of place. The setting is an important part and the reader to see it through the characters’ eyes. The food, dialogues, and somehow stereotypical characters added to the charm.

Even when Rob cross-dresses into Honey, and is in character when they visited Boone’s family, this story doesn’t center around it. It is a sweet, slow romance that takes time to simmer. The MCs’ friendship is strong enough to carry the book.

If you are looking for a short story with nice characters and a different take on bringing “the one” home to the family, you will enjoy this book.

The cover by Reese Dante shows a perfect mix of Honey and Rob. A great hint to the story to come.

Sale Links: DreamspinnerAmazon | Kobo

Book Details:

ebook, 88 pages
Published: May 17, 2017 (Second Edition), by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-63533-580-4
Edition Language: English

 

A Lila Review: Tempted to Taste (Sutter’s Bay #5) by Shawn Lane

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

tempted-to-taste-by-shawn-laneRyan Callahan’s parents died in a boating accident off Sutter’s Bay when he was five years old. Now Ryan is back in the bay ready to live in the Victorian reproduction house his father built for his mother. And ready to get his dream job a chef in a restaurant. The job of head chef seems to fall into his lap when Mabry’s is short staffed, but when the sexy as sin owner, Chris Mabry, returns from vacation he fires the inexperienced Ryan on the spot.

Ryan’s dream seems to be over before he gets a chance to prove himself, but when Chris realizes how bad his restaurant’s situation is, he rehires Ryan. As Mabry becomes a success, things sizzle between Ryan and Chris and soon Ryan is cooking for Chris personally.

Tempted to Taste is more of a spinoff than part of the original series.  We do see characters from the previous books, especially Adam and Galaxy, but even so, this book exists on the outside of the others’ friends and family circles. It does have the Sutter Bay setting which helps to bring them together.

This story has a faster pace, which I enjoyed. The plot is simple and the main plot revolves around the main characters’ relationship. There’s no angst or unnecessary misunderstandings. The story has the right amount of fluff and smexy scenes to get the reader to forget about anything else but the story.

Ryan doesn’t waste any time getting settled or looking for a job. He knows what he wants and that includes Chris. From the start, both established an understanding about mixing work and pleasure and this fact never becomes an issue. They are direct and to the point even when they are falling for each other. Chris first impression isn’t a positive one, but he more than makes up for it.

If you’re looking for a quick read between stories or a distraction from the world, this is your story. Don’t expect a piece of literary fiction. This story is a simple romance with interesting characters and a beautiful setting. Plus, it can be read as a stand-alone.

As always, the cover includes the main characters and a view of Sutter’s Bay.

Sale Links: JMS Books | Amazon | Nook

Book Details:

ebook, 49 pages
Published: January 14, 2017, by JMS Books
ISBN: 9781634861489
Edition Language: English

Series:  Sutter’s Bay
Book #1: Sweet Reunion
Book #2: Twice in a Lifetime
Book #3: Galaxy’s Heart
Book #4: Finding Forever
Book #5: Tempted to Taste

 

A Lila Review: Prince of Seas (Three Brothers Fair #1) by Emily Carrington

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Princes of SeasPrince Hans is the youngest in a set of Kelpie triplets. Their future bound by a prophecy that sees his middle brother, Tian, betrothed to Prince Felimid. As the three brothers talk about their imminent future, Hans only thinks about Prince Felimid.

By chance, Hans had the opportunity to spend some time in private with the Prince he wanted for himself. The attraction seems to be mutual and after they part ways, Hans searches, desperately, for a way to be the chosen one.

Through a series of deceptions, lies, and cover-ups, Hans gets the chance to be with Felimid, but there’s a price to pay for what they found. With the help of his brothers, Hans has the opportunity to prove Felimid how good they could be together, prophecy or not on their side.

Prince of Seas is a short and sweet tale of magic and hope. It’s well written and filled with many characters. There are interesting ideas and the start of a world-build, but not a coherent flow. The story lacks rhythm and felt as if missing chunks of time.

The overall concept of the three brothers and the prophecy was too much for such a short story. The amount of time going over this aspect, took away from the romance between Hans and Felimid.

Also, the reasons why Felimid needed a kelpie and who else was involved were more of an afterthought, added to extend the story. As the start of a series, it gives enough information to get the reader interested in the next one, but not enough to enjoy this installment fully.

It was a good story, just short of being great.

The cover by Fiona Jayde has beautiful colors than bring a fairytale-like sense to it. But the rest seems to depict a contemporary story, not a fantasy.

Sale Links: Loose Id | Amazon | ARe

Book Details:

ebook, 81 pages
Published: January 26, 2016, by Loose Id
ISBN: 9781682520666
Edition Language: English

Series:  Three Brothers Fair
Book #1: Prince of Seas